Step By Step Process: British Columbia BC Regional Pilot Program for Starting a New Business in Canada

STEP 1:  Identify Community Location for Your New Business Start Up

There are over 30 participating BC communities in the program all looking to attract foreign investor businesses to their community. The population of these communities’ range between 2,000 to 60,000. Each community has identified at least 3 main investment priorities across various industries. Your investment plans must align with the community investment priorities.

Sean G McKinsley, Managing Director and the experienced team at Canada Immigration and Visa Services have an internal process of matching investors to communities. Contact today for a turnkey solution and professional advice for your success

STEP 2:   Create Your Unique Business Plan

After identifying the community, you would like to start your new business, it is time to start developing a business plan for your new business. This business plan should consider the business concept, preliminary investment breakdown, job creation plan, financial projections and the positive benefit to the community.

Sean G McKinsley, Managing Director, and the experienced team of business plan professionals can help you build a custom business plan for success.   The business plan writers at have assisted many successful applicants and will work with you to design a custom plan that meets the requirements of the BC Regional Pilot Program.

STEP 3: Community Visit

In order to be eligible for and submit a registration to the BC PNP under the Regional Pilot Program, you must align with the business priorities of the community and also make an exploratory visit to the community in which you intend to establish a business.  This visit is important to evaluate business opportunities, refine business model, perform market research and connect with local contacts.  This will also be a good chance to learn more about living in the community in which you intend to start a business.  During your visit you must meet with the designated community contact person to discuss your business proposal.

At this point, the participating communities will not provide a letter of support for you to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa to conduct an exploratory visit to B.C.

If you require a visitor visa – Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) so you can travel to Canada  — Sean G McKinsley and the experienced team at will help you every step of the way.

STEP 4: Receive Community Referral

A referral from the community will only be given after a site visit and only if your business aligns with the community’s target industries. You may also be required to meet any conditions or requirements set by the community in order to obtain a referral which makes the community visit a very important step of the process.

Sean G McKinsley, Managing Director, and the professional team at can facilitate the process of meeting with the community representative. If the designated community contact person determines that you are a suitable candidate, the designated community contact person will fill out a referral form and provide a copy to you and to the BC PNP.

STEP 5:  Register Online

Online registration is the first step to immigrating to British Columbia as an immigrant entrepreneur. You must carefully review the EI – Regional Pilot requirements before completing your registration. Based on the information you provide you will receive a score that will determine your eligibility.

Before you can submit your registration, you need to provide:

  • Your valid referral form from the community contact;
  • Your valid language test result;
  • Biographical page (and signature page) of your current passport *;
  • Current photograph; and
  • Use of a representative form, if applicable.

Upon completion of the registration scoring, you will receive an email from the BC PNP indicating your total score and whether you have met the minimum requirements to be entered in the qualified pool. The process typically takes 4 weeks and you will be able to view your registration score, including scores for each section

STEP 6: Receive an Invitation

Once you are entered into the pool you will be ranked along with other registrants. The BC PNP will invite the highest scoring registrants to apply. If you get selected you will be sent an email with instructions on how to complete an EI – Regional Pilot application. You will have 120 days from the date of the invitation to submit a complete application. This gives you time to finalize your business plan.

If you have not been invited, you can improve your score by developing a new business concept, conducting more research into the business environment in B.C., or improving your adaptability and submitting a new registration.

Talk to us on how you can boost your score.

STEP 7:  Confirmation of Net Worth

Confirming your net worth is a vital part of the process and to qualify for the BC PNP. You must engage the services of  BC PNP-authorized professional accounting firm. The accounting firm will complete a certification report of your total net worth. Costs associated with the process must be paid by the applicant after entering an agreement with an accounting firm. The time to obtain the verification report varies depending on the amount of financial information provided and may take up to 60 days. The report, once completed, is valid for a year.

STEP 8: Application Submission

After you gather all supporting documents, your net worth reports and a detailed business plan you have up to 120 days to apply. The BC Government Application fee is $3,500 CAD, non-refundable.

STEP 9: Decision on Application

Following the submission of your application, the BC PNP will access your application according to different criteria.

These include:

  • Whether your entry will be of benefit to the economic development of BC.
  • Your ability and intention to permanently settle and become economically established in BC.
  • Whether you have entered, or intend to enter into an immigration-linked investment scheme.
  • Whether the information provided in relation to your application is accurate, complete and reliable; and,
  • Whether you will provide active and ongoing management of the eligible business from within BC.

If after reviewing the BC PNP program require more clarification, an official may offer you an opportunity to address some concerns regarding your application. These concerns must be addressed seriously and in a timely manner as unsatisfactory information may lead to the refusal of your application.

If the BC PNP is satisfied you will get invited for an interview.

The interview will take place in the Vancouver head office. During the interview, you will be expected to describe your business/work experience and answer in-depth questions about your application. The interview will be in English, and your authorized immigration representative may attend.

At this point, you may require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to attend the in-person interview. The invitation email by BC PNP may be used at this point to apply for your visitor visa. If you do not attend the interview in person, your application will be refused.

If your interview was successful, your application will be approved and you are required to sign a performance agreement.

STEP 10: Approval

Once your application is approved, you will be issued a Performance agreement. The performance agreement is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions you must meet for the BC PNP and is unique to each applicant.

  • Type of business and location.
  • Eligible investment amounts.
  • The number and type of positions to be created for Canadians or permanent residents.
  • Active management requirement.
  • Residency requirements.
  • Timeframes within which you must meet these requirements.

All terms and conditions of this agreement must be met within the outlined time frames and failure to do so will result in the refusal of the nomination. Once the agreement is signed, the BC PNP will issue you a letter of confirmation.

STEP 11: Coming to Canada

The letter of confirmation issued by the BC PNP will allow you to apply to IRCC for a 2-year work permit. This will allow you to move to Canada with you family to start implementing your business plan. You have  90 days  from the time you apply for permanent residency to apply for a work permit. If applicable, your spouse or common-law partner will be eligible to apply for an open work permit, and your dependent child(ren) will be eligible for study permits to attend elementary or secondary school. You must arrive in B.C. with your valid work permit within 365 days (12 months) from the date of your letter of confirmation or your application will be closed and no further support from the immigration will be provided.

STEP 12: Building your Business:

You must meet all conditions stated in your performance agreement during the validity of your work permit in order to be finally approved for nomination. You must prove that you did so by submitting a final report to BC PNP approximately 12 to 20 months after the issuance date of your work permit. In your report, you must demonstrate that you have met the terms and conditions described in your signed Performance Agreement. The BC PNP will evaluate your final report, and may at its discretion, request additional information and/or conduct a site visit at your B.C. business in order to assess eligibility for nomination.  If you fail to meet the terms and conditions of the Performance Agreement during the mandatory timeframes, your application may be refused at the nomination stage and your file will be closed.

If your final report is approved the BC PNP will issue you a confirmation of nomination with conditions. The confirmation letter will allow you to apply for PR under the provincial nominee program.

STEP 13: Apply for PR to become Permanent Resident

After your application has been approved as Provincial nominee, you must apply to PR within 180 days. IRCC will assess your application for permanent residence to ensure you meet the security and admissibility requirements, including medical and security checks, and that you continue to meet the requirements of the Provincial Nominee class.

Immigrate to Canada: Start A Business Through British Columbia (BC) BC Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot Program

STEP 13: Apply for PR to become Permanent Resident

After your application has been approved as Provincial nominee, you must apply to PR within 180 days. IRCC will assess your application for permanent residence to ensure you meet the security and admissibility requirements, including medical and security checks, and that you continue to meet the requirements of the Provincial Nominee class.

If you are looking to immigrate to Canada and start a business, the British Columbia (BC) BC Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot Program is a possible and less demanding option for foreign entrepreneurs and business owners. If you are planning to start a new business or wish to purchase an existing business, you can register and apply under the BC nomination program for entrepreneurs.

This is a pilot program developed by the Government of British Columbia, Canada that works with regional communities to attract entrepreneurs to participating in regional communities to establish new businesses that align with community economic development priorities.

The main requirements to participate in this program include.

  • Experience

In order to participate in this program, applicants should demonstrate that they have experience in the same field as their intended business in Canada  and that work experience must be within the last 5 years as either:

  • Senior managers (4+ years)
  • Business owners (3+ years)
  • Net Worth

Investors must prove that they have a financial net worth of at least $300,000 Canadian dollars (CAD). This net worth threshold is significantly less, up to 50% less, than the net worth requirements in other business immigration programs, which makes the BC Regional Pilot more accessible. There are multiple ways and combinations way you can prove your net worth. This process must be by an approved BC PNP accountant.

Sean G McKinsley, Managing Director and his team at Canada Immigration and Visa Services can advise you on how the process works.

  • Ownership of new business:

The foreign investor must own the majority of the business (51%+)

  • Investment

The investment amount for the BC Regional Pilot is lower than the other program. A minimum of 100,000 CAD is required and the creation of at least one full-time job for a Canadian citizen. Each community has prioritized 3 main industries in which the investment you make should align with.

  • English language requirement

In order to qualify for the regional pilot program, you must have a level of at least CLB 4. Accepted tests include IELTS and CELPIP.  A CLB 4 means you can.

  • communicate basic needs and personal experience;
  • follow, with considerable effort, simple formal and informal conversations;
  • read a simple set of instructions in plain language; and
  • write short messages, postcards, notes or directions.

The English exam results will be valid for two (2) years.

  • Timeline
    Application decisions are typically made within 4 months

Application Fees:

  • Registration: $300
  • Application: $3,500

For more information about this and other business immigration programs for entrepreneurs, please contact Sean G McKinsley, Managing Director and his team at Canada Immigration and Visa Services.

Immigrate to Canada: Start A Business Through British Columbia (BC) BC Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot Program

The BC Regional Pilot Program is a great way for foreign investors to start a business and immigrate to British Columbia, Canada. The Regional Pilot Program gives the opportunity for foreign investors to open a business, move to Canada through a work permit and eventually apply for permanent residency under the BC Provincial Nominee Program. There are over 30 rural communities looking to attract foreign investment to their towns to invest in specific industry sectors.  The foreign business must be operated for the primary purpose of earning profits by providing products and/or services to the chosen community. Additionally, the business must have a strong potential for sustained commercial success. Below are 3 main requirements for your business to qualify for the regional pilot program.

1 – Comprehensive Business Plan

Your business plan is very important and must demonstrate commercial viability under your ownership, including a market entry strategy to show how your proposed business will be successful in British Columbia. The business plan must also demonstrate the benefit it will bring to the community and the positive social and economic impact. The business plan must show that it aligns with the community’s priority investment sectors.

2 – Investment

Fortunately, the investment required under the regional pilot program is lower than any other program.  A minimum of $100,000 CAD is required in either purchasing an already existing business or starting a new business. This program allows part of this investment to be in the form of operating cash flow (under certain conditions) for the first few months of operations. The investment must also be made within the first 20 months on your arrival to Canada. The investment could go to:

  • Direct investment in business;
  • New equipment purchases;
  • Leasehold improvements;
  • Marketing costs;
  • Regular operating expenses such as rent, wages, utilities, etc; and
  • start-up inventory

3 – Job creation

If you start a business in Canada through the BC Regional Pilot Program, you must demonstrate that your business will support the long term employment of Canadians. The program requires your business to hire one or more Canadian or permanent resident employees under continuous employment. (at least 30 hours per week).  It must be noted that independent contractors do not qualify and only direct employees of the proposed business will be considered. The employees cannot have more than 10% ownership of the business.

Net Worth Required for the BC British Columbia Regional Pilot

To immigrate to Canada and start a business in Canada through the BC regional pilot you need to prove that you have a net worth of at least $300,000 CAD. This also includes the net worth of your spouse or common-law partner.  You must disclose all of your personal net worth, including all your assets and those of your spouse or common-law partner as well as all liabilities including mortgages and personal debts. There are many ways to prove your personal net worth for the BC regional pilot.

Below are some ways you can prove your net worth:

  • Cash;
  • Assets in bank accounts (e.g., personal chequing and savings accounts);
  • Fixed (term) deposits (redeemable/cashable within one year);
  • Real property (e.g., real estate, personal and commercial property ownership);
  • Investments in bonds, stocks, and mutual funds;
  • Investments in one or more businesses (current value of your percentage ownership in business(es), excluding stocks held in investment portfolios that have been included under liquid investments above);
  • Pensions and other assets (i.e. jewelry, collectibles, etc.); and
  • Liabilities such as real property mortgage(s) or other debts (e.g., personal loans, credit card debt).

It’s important to note that the net worth verification report must be performed by a BC PNP-authorized professional accounting firm.